Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Lovely Bride

In the comments on yesterday's post, which contains the gamer survey Sctrz and I composed, Chris brought up a pet peeve of his. He doesn't like it when men refer to to their spouses as "brides." While he can of course further clarify if he desires, I think the gist of his point is this, "[S]he no doubt deserves to be more than 'a bride.'" I certainly respect Chris and his opinion, but let me tell you why I refer to Sctrz as "my lovely bride."
A weighty reminder of my commitment to my bride.
In our American culture and others (without going into the current politics of marriage), the Bride is at the center of the wedding. On that day, more than any other, she is a princess, and the focus of everyone there. Even the Groom is already a fixture in the ceremonial hall when the Bride makes her grand entrance. Plus, the full term is "bridegroom," he is there to attend to her.

When I was younger, and attended church with far more regularity than I do now, a leader gave a sermon in which he explained why he still referred to his wife of many years as his bride. It reminded him of the promises they made to each other on that special day so long ago. And it also let her know her that he remembered those promises. It is a lesson I took to heart long before I was ever married. Whenever she reads my posts, I want Sctrz to be reminded of our special day, and the promises I made to her, promises that we made together.

It is neither about putting her on a pedestal nor about being "The Man of the house." We are equal partners in our marriage. I respect her, and value her opinion; though I am hard-headed, not very good at listening. To borrow a now trite, but very true, phrase, she completes me.

While long-time readers of this blog—and my followers on Twitter—may know who Sctrz is, I am ever mindful of newcomers who may say to themselves, "Who the heck is this Sctrz person? And why does rowan (not my real name, any more than Sctrz is hers) keep referring to this person?"

Sctrz is many things. She is my gaming partner, my partner in crime, my lover, my confidant, my best friend. She is a manager, a dog lover, a student, a nerd, a mother, a breadwinner, a lover of sunflowers, a gamer, a speed demon. But now and for as long as she wants to be, I will think of her as my lovely bride.

26 comments:

  1. That is a great story! When I'm not thinking about it, I often refer to my wife as "my girlfriend". It may sound bad to some, but she knows it's because I'm just as excited to be with here now as I was when we were dating. :)

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  2. I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment. My wife is all the things I am not, and without her I would be a complete and total mess. Together we make a complete unit, both of us lesser without the support of the other. We approach our life together as a team.

    As a teacher she tends to be far busier than I am, so I pick up the lions share of the house work. I cook, do the bigger rooms cleaning and vacuuming, do the laundry on the weekends, take care of the animals etc. I can leave my job at the office, but she ends up taking hers hope working on grading and school work 80 to 90 hours a week.

    In the summer, to even things out she picks up most of the chores and I get my own little break. But we don't have "man work" and "woman work", we just have the random assorted shit that has to get done to survive together. But always we approach things like a team, talking through anything that comes up.

    So all of this said, I couldn't see anything wrong with what you said yesterday, and still can't.

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  3. "In our American culture and others (without going into the current politics of marriage), the Bride is at the center of the wedding."

    Refer to your wife how you want, of course, but for what it's worth this makes me uncomfortable. The bride being the center of the wedding is a pretty patriarchal viewpoint. Perhaps that is the case for some people. Perhaps for some couples the groom is more invested in the wedding and reception. Perhaps, such as with my wedding, the bride and groom are equally invested.

    My personal reaction to someone being called "my bride" is about the same as if you said, "my woman". It implies ownership and gives Sctrz (who I don't know at all) the identity here of your legal attachment. None of the lovely things you said about her (mother, breadwinner, gamer, dog lover, etc) are reflected in "my bride". It seems highly patronizing to me, and I would be really irritated if my husband kept referring to me that way.

    That being said, it's not a huge deal or anything, but you posted about it so I figured I'd comment. :)

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    1. I wondered, myself, if bringing up the "wedding culture" would seem sexist or patriarchal. But I thought of all the "bridezillas" in the country who insist that they get their in every aspect of the wedding day and more. Even brides that aren't quite so self-centered are much more involved in the planning of the wedding than most grooms. Your husband was more an exception than the rule.

      My own wedding to Sctrz was a very small affair, with immediate family and a couple close friends, at the county courthouse. We even spent several days and nights sewing her dress together right before the big day. But the traditional wedding (ever more expensive at that) still seems to be the norm from what I've seen.

      Thank you for your perspective. :)

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  4. I am wondering if this is a regional thing. Here smack dab in the center of the bible belt, bride is just as common as saying wife. I linked this whole thing to my own wife and she chimed in with "awww - that was sweet!" and "bride to me is a compliment".

    So it may simply be a cultural reference type thing.

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    1. I think much of it may be a regional thing, which shows the dangers of overlaying your values on the words and actions of others, or inferring mal-intent where there is none.

      In the South and in the U.S. Army, "Sir" or "Ma'am" is a term of respect given. But growing up in California, I had a Texan classmate whose use of "Sir" landed him in a bit of trouble with at least one teacher who thought my classmate was mocking them. I had two friends from the Upstate New York and Massachusetts, respectively, who upon joining the Army, had to overcome their cultural view of "Sir" as a prelude to a fight. "Excuse me, SIR, you're in my seat."

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  5. I'm wondering too. Because I don't see any problem with "my bride" or "my wife", because the complementary "my husband" is just as normal here. So there might be some implied ownership in that term, but it's very mutual.

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  6. The "my bride" doesn't bother me, any more than "my wife" or "my husband" or "my girlfriend" or "my significant other" does. Actually, I think it's rather sweet since it's a constant reminder of your wedding day & your love for each other. :)

    I have to both agree and disagree with Liore as far as it implying ownership: she is yours and you are hers - nothing wrong with that. Now, I have heard some guys use it in ways that denote control or female submission, but it's pretty obvious in your case that you have a great deal of respect & love for Sctrz. As long as she's happy with it, it's all good.

    Anyways, it's far better than "the old lady" or "the old ball & chain" or the numerous other derogatory terms that some people use. Those can be funny in certain contexts, but I'd much rather hear "my bride". :)

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  7. I can't imagine many British men using the term "my bride" without irony. Maybe for a few weeks after the ceremony. When I hear someone say it, which is rarely, I always assume they are very recently married.

    "My wife" and "my husband" are used but the usage is problematic, not just because of the issues Liore mentions but also because it has a very old-fashioned, almost stuffy connotation. Makes you sound like you're living in a 1970s sitcom!

    Of course, marriage has a relatively low status in Britain, especially in England. Co-habiting without benefit of clergy or state has been the normative choice at least since I was a teenager in the 1970s.

    I call my S.O. "Mrs Bhagpuss" in print because she wouldn't want to be personally identified and because we both think it's funny, sounding as it does like a cartoon character. We both aspire to be cartoon characters whenever possible!

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    1. I refer to my husband as Mr. GC for the very same reason that he doesn't want to be personally identified. We both find it kind of funny too, since that stands for Mr. GamerChick, but it was actually he who started to call himself that first, lol.

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  8. It's probably down to local idiom, it would be odd here to hear someone referred to as 'bride' unless they were actually at a wedding ceremony and 'wife' would be more typical.

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    1. Come to think of it, you're right for my area, too. "Bride" would be very unusual, but it would (maybe due to being so unusual) also not sound pejorative, I think. It doesn't to me, at least. "Wife" would be much more common, though.

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  9. This is clearly interesting and varying wildly depending on region. Just out of curiosity: how _do_ you refer to "my wife/husband" when talking to a third party?

    Let's say you would want to bring him/her with you for an evening out with colleagues and their families. Just referring by name ("I'll bring X"/"Is it OK to come with X"?) would sound weird to me, because the others might not know who X is, inviting the question of "umm, sure... and X is?"

    Conversely (different semantics, same syntax), if I wanted to bring a colleague to a meeting, I'd also say "I'll bring my colleague" or "a colleague of mine", possibly mentioning the name in addition, without any possessive connotations.

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  10. Aww, such a sweet post. Scrtz is a lucky woman :)

    The way you use "lovely bride" to refer to Scrtz, it seems to me like a term of endearment like any other. My own husband calls me "sweetheart" and I'm okay with it, though I know a couple of women whom that would drive crazy. Likewise, a friend of mine's spouse's term of endearment for her is "baby" which she loves and finds sweet, but which I would hate. Basically, my point is I think what someone likes to call/be called by his or her partner is totally up to the couple as long as both are okay with it. That's imo.

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  11. Thanks to everyone who has commented. It's great to have a diversity of humble opinions on the blog. :D

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  12. I always thought "my lovely bride" sounded really sweet. Reveals a romantic soul or something. :)

    Funny to read here that the British expect irony when reading it. I guess it's not a common thing to say in the Netherlands either, so it does catch my eye whenever it's mentioned on your blog. But that's a good thing!

    On my own blog, I refer to my boyfriend as, well... "my boyfriend". He once commented on it that he didn't like it, but I don't know how to mention him otherwise. I don't think he wants me to put his real name on the internet, either. I do agree that "my boyfriend" doesn't sound very cosy. I'll have to come up with something else one of these days.

    Which makes me wonder: does the Mr/Mrs 'cartoony' solution only work for male bloggers (and why)? Somehow Mr. Ravanel would sound as if it's me instead of him, or, I don't know. It just doesn't sound right.

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    1. Edit: I see now that Mr. CG seems to work, so perhaps it's just Mr. Ravanel, then.

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    2. PS: And if that's your own ring on the picture, that so awesome! Makes me jealous! ^^

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    3. It is my wedding band. :D I hadn't obtained permission to put Sctrz' band on there. Still haven't asked, actually.

      Not that it will change how I refer to her down the road, but would it help if I reminded everyone that Sctrz has been my bride less than one year?

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  13. One of my favorite blog posts of yours. :D

    Next Valentine's Day, you could reprint most of that on a card in February and give it to her for a total WIN!. Yay!

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  14. So much I could say here....but, I'll limit myself to this: I have no problem with what you said or your reasons for saying it. I love them in fact. And I think most of the complaints and counter-reaction stem from an lack of understanding what is going on both symbolically and materially in a wedding ceremony.

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  15. Maybe "bryde" would have been better for the virulent anti-patriarchy crowd who are looking for excuses to be offended?

    I saw nothing but respect and adoration in the earlier post. Maybe one really does find what one is looking for?

    Sweet ring, by the way. :)

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    1. We were actually mocking odd rings online when we first started looking, and even at the stores. But as soon as we saw this one, Sctrz turned to me, and we both agreed it is perfect.

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